Since the discovery of Histomonas meleagridis in 1893, the necessity of isolating pure H. meleagridis has been highlighted over the years in the battle against histomonosis. Insights into the molecular characteristics of this protozoon open possibilities to proper treatment. Axenization of H. meleagridis in vitro cultures cocultured with bacteria has been unsuccessful. Numerous unsuccessful attempts at culturing H. meleagridis axenically have reinforced the assumption that the protozoa had an obligate relationship with certain bacteria originating from the host ceca. Within these perspectives, we enriched H. meleagridis cells from a mono-eukaryotic culture copropagated with host cecal bacteria by flow cytometry. The enrichment of histomonads was confirmed through transmission electron microscopy and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. For the first time several protein spots were successfully identified. The majority of spots were annotated as cytoskeletal proteins. Actin microfilaments are known to be a key player in cell spreading, cell adhesion, phagocytosis, signal transduction, and several other processes. Together with the identification of superoxide dismutase, the information generated from protein analysis of H. meleagridis may serve as a very first step toward understanding its pathogenesis and virulence.
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Vol. 60 • No. 3